4 May 2009

When No One's Looking!

It’s easy to do the right thing in the glare of public eye. It’s easy to be committed to a course and be dedicated to a given task when the team leader is around, it’s easy to pray and worship during a church service. But what happens when no one is looking?

It’s easy to give and be generous when we are ok financially, when the bank balance is high and the bills are paid. But what happens when the story changes?
It was reported recently that charitable giving has declined due to the current economic climate. Yes, while close to 2.5 million Britons may be currently out of work, what proportion of those gave regularly to have badly affected charitable courses? Or is it that the rest of us have decided to hold on to what we’ve got.

It was also reported that due to the current economic atmosphere shop lifting have gone up, people have become more dishonest, ruder, and unfriendly.

How come? How can honest, decent, law abiding people suddenly became thieves and cheats, I ask myself? Could it be that their job was a glass shield, used to mask an underlying problem of shoplifting and indecent behaviour? I don’t think people can just switch and change depending on their circumstances. Whatever the reasons, I think that majority of people put up an act when people are watching. Hence the real person comes out given a change in circumstances.

I was in a shop a few days ago just browsing. I walked to the jewellery section and tried on a few of the pieces and found one I liked which I eventually paid for and slipped on my left wrist.

I was with a friend at the time, we walked outside, and after a couple of blocks I felt something on my right wrist, at first I thought it was my wrist watch but it was loose which made me wonder what it could be. I looked and behold one of the bangles I tried on but forgot to take off.

“O my God I gasped”, my friend stopped, thinking I had lost something.
“What is it she said”,
“Look I said” showing her my wrist, she started laughing.
“It’s not funny, I said, I’ve just walked out of the shop with a bangle I don’t intend to have, without paying for it”.
She goes “O well you have it now, no one saw you, and you might as well keep it”. “I am not keeping it” “I am taking it back”, “I replied”
“Just keep it, it’s only a bangle” she replied. I am taking it back”, even if I want it, I will have to pay to keep it.
It wasn’t as easy as it sounds. You may wonder was there a part of me, a very small part that wanted to keep it. Yes there was, it’s easy to think, oops it’s my lucky day, but it wasn’t its stealing, however small. (My friend was testing me though).

With no one looking, we walked to the shop and put it back where it belonged.
This is not an attempt to pat myself on the back to say O, look what we did, we’re honest and decent, far from it, it’s just to drive home the point.

What do you do when no one is looking?
Would you still litter the street if there were no CCTV or hygiene police on the watch?
Would you still be dedicated to your job if your boss were away? Or you have no boss?
Would you still tenderly care for your friend’s baby in her absence the same way you would when she’s there?
Would you be faithful in giving, no matter how small when your situation changes?
Would you still be nice to the elderly folks in your care, when you are alone with them?
Would you still pay your taxes if it was left up to you to do so? Now that’s a thought!

Do you do what you do because it is convenient to do so, or because you are required by law to do so? Or because you know it is a moral and decent thing to do.

It’s easy to put up a smile and say hello in good times, but what happens when the bottom drops off? How do you hold up in tough times? We are in tough times right now, the world is in the deepest recession like never before, battling the threat of Swine flu pandemic, wars, e.t.c.

The only way to go through tough times is to stay with the one who can stir your ship to quiet waters, he alone can give you the peace, resolve and strength to remain steadfast, unmoveable, unshakeable and honest in trying times, helping you with the guidance of his Holy Spirit to do right when no one is looking.
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